Garaj Mahal is simply one of the most adventurous bands making music today. At times criminally overlooked by much of the average listening world, the foursome has continued to release albums that rock critics’ worlds and play shows that expand fans’ minds.
Its latest album, wOOt (the first since 2005’s critically acclaimed Blueberry Cave), is another sonic masterpiece. With Fareed Haque leading the way, Garaj Mahal is all over the musical map. Bands who try to cram every idea they have into an album often sound overstuffed and unsettling. But wOOt comes off as an exciting exploration into the musical netherworld. With most tracks clocking in at around the seven-minute mark, there is plenty of time for drummer Alan Hertz (since replaced by Sean Rickman) and bassist Kai Eckhardt to build deep, danceable grooves. Upon this firm foundation, Haque and keyboardist Eric Levy go to work. The two effortlessly move from the deep funk of “Hotel,” to the New Orleans flavored “Uptown Tipitinas,” to the steady thump of “7 Cows Jumping Over the Moon.”
Moving all over the musical map, wOOt becomes a funky, jazz-fusion world with no boundaries. It is a world that is well worth visiting.
wOOt is out now on Owl Records.